Staying local for Labor Day weekend? This Sunday’s inaugural Indian Peaks Classic bike ride offers the ultimate Colorado experience.
The single-day ride leaves Nederland in two waves beginning at 9 a.m., taking riders around a loop that includes smooth dirt and paved terrain, with the Peak to Peak highway prominently in the mix. Riders can choose a 33 km or 73 km route.
This is no run-of-the mill bike ride. The unique aspects of this event make it our top pick for the long weekend. Here are the top 10 reasons the Indian Peaks Classic is the one to ride:
10) The dirt is doable
The concept of a mixed terrain ride is nothing new, but the Indian Peaks Classic is the only dirt-and-pavement combo you’ll find on the Front Range. Organizers have scoped out a route that is entirely manageable while offering big views, ups and downs. The six or seven total miles of dirt sections are smooth and negotiable on a regular road bike. Cross bikes or mountain bikes would make the journey as well, only a bit slower!
9) Elbow-close pros
Ride co-founders Timmy Duggan and Ian MacGregor – professional cycling and skiing champions themselves – have lined out a peloton that includes Steven Nyman, Kiel Reijnen, Alison Powers, Tanner Putt, Mara Abbott and Lucas Euser.
“After the USA Pro Challenge, a bunch of the riders are still in town and we wanted to take advantage of that,” Duggan explains. “It’s pretty special to have this kind of talent all in one place. There is really no other event where riders can rub shoulders with so many great athletes.”
8) All access pass
Beyond the Sunday ride, your opportunities to meet and swap cycling stories with the aforementioned pros include some terrific VIP events on Friday and Saturday. Buy the Sneak Peak pass to gain all access. In addition to lots of great wining and dining, Saturday morning’s 65 km preview ride will get your tires warm and reward you with the stunning scenery of Brainard Lake and the Peak to Peak Highway.
7) One word: Nederland
The weird and wonderful epi-center of backroads Colorado is a perfect staging ground. Both Duggan and MacGregor live here. They wanted to showcase Nederland’s hidden beauty while “giving cyclists a chance to ride some of its most fun and challenging routes.”
6) You can go harder
The Indian Peaks Classic benefits Just Go Harder Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Duggan and MacGregor that gives scholarships to kids who want to participate in skiing or cycling, but don’t have the up-front funds. “We’re opening the door for these kids because skiing and cycling are sports that offer amazing lifetime benefits,” Duggan explains.
5) And faster
While this ride is by no means a race, both the long and short routes include a timed climb toward the end, giving cyclists an opportunity to push their limits and see the results.
4, 3, 2) Food, music, beer
The Indian Peaks ride is a fully supported event, with aid stations along both routes and just-in-case SAG vehicles keeping riders safe. All the goods from SKRATCH Foods, Ska Brewing and more lie just beyond the finish line.
1) Simple signup
If you’re just hearing about the ride and haven’t had a chance to register, don’t worry – there are lots of opportunities to do so over the next few days. The $120 registration fee includes a $50 donation to Just Go Harder Foundation.
- Online registration is available through September 3.
- In Denver at Biju’s Little Curry Shop you can grab some curry and sign up Thursday and Friday, September 3 and 4 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Drop by Vecchio’s, one of Boulder’s coolest bike shops, Saturday, September 5, from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
- Just show up Sunday, September 6, in Nederland by 8:30 a.m.